Mayuresh Wadkar and Ajisha Shah have vowed the judges and viewers of Nach Baliye with their incredible acts, and have steadily worked their way into the top-four. Ahead of the finale, we caught up with the “Aerial King” and the “Drama Queen”.
Ajisha, Mayuresh, please tell us a little about how you paved your paths into the industry.
Ajisha: My inspiration is Vaibhavi Merchant. It was her work, her passion and dedication towards dance that inspired me so much. I always dreamt of being a part of her team and to be trained under her and this is why I am here today in Mumbai. This is how I paved my way into the industry.
Mayuresh: Salman Khan and Terrence (Lewis) sir are my inspirations. The first song I ever performed to was Oh Oh Jane Jana (Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya). In school, I was the only guy who used to dance so I was quite popular. I used to participate in lots of competitions as well. I have worked as a salesman to pay for my dance training; after that, I worked an editor at Balaji, on shows like Kyunki... Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahin To Hoga, Kitni Mast Hai Zindagi and so on. Later, I got a three-year scholarship at the Terrence Dance Academy. Then, I auditioned for Dance India Dance’s season one and then, there was no looking back. There is only one key for success and that is your hard work. Along with hard work, if you put in passion, sincerity and creativity, it will create wonders.
Being a wild card entrant in Nach Baliye, what challenges did you face to make way to the top?
Ajisha: Being a Bollywood dancer I have not been doing all forms of dance except for Bollywood (freestyle), but the aerial act which I did with Mayuresh made me aware about my capabilities and abilities to do something which I had never thought about. It was challenge for me to match the bench mark Mayuresh set and eventually I successfully did so. Other contestants are good dancers as well which creates challenge but a person pushing his/her limits and challenging himself will always succeed and this is what I do which held us to create the way into finals.
Mayuresh: Me and Ajisha had a lot of pressure, especially Ajisha as she is a Bollywood dancer and she has never done contemporary and aerial acts. I was scared at first but she picked up amazingly. There was a lot of unsaid pressure on us as we both were dancers, and this pressure took toll on us as couldn’t deliver our best in the first week. I was a bit nervous and stressed as the contestants in Nach Baliye are all household names and people knew them.
As a dancer/performer what do you feel are you strengths or weaknesses and your partner’s strengths/weaknesses?
Ajisha: As performers I feel that my strength is that I can connect to the audience very well, my courage and fearlessness to never say no to any upcoming challenge related to dance which is my passion. My weakness I believe is acrophobia which Mayuresh and the platform of Nach Baliye 7 helped me to come out of.
Mayuresh: My weakness is my knee. I have a ligament tear in both the knees and I am asked to take a break from dancing and go for a surgery, but I am just avoiding it. Besides my C3 bone of spinal cord is dislocated, so the left side of my neck gets blocked. So my health is my weakness but I made it my strength. Besides my parents, friends, Ajisha and my fans are my strength. Whereas Ajisha’s strength is her Bollywood dancing; she is amazing in whatever she does. She is humble and has a sweet heart.
Being trained dancers do you consider it as an advantage on Nach Baliye?
Ajisha: Initially I thought yes it will be beneficial for me but coming on this platform seeing other performers do equally good by putting so much of hard work made my yes change into a no.
Mayuresh: Well I think it is an advantage in Nach Baliye. Besides, I have given 20 years of my life in dancing. I am trained in contemporary, aerial acts, jazz, hip hop and so on and so forth. My strength is dancing. But when I see other contestants perform, I still learn a lot from them, especially their expressions.
Who do you think is your strongest contender and why?
Ajisha: Everyone on the show are good dancers but according to me its Amruta and Himanshu. Because before our entry on the show, they have been scoring highest marks. They are really good dancers and they have given really good innovative acts.
Mayuresh: For me, I guess strongest contenders are Upen-Karishma, Rashmi-Nandish and Amruta-Himanshu, basically all of them. Their choreography, their performance and their acts are just amazing.
Talking about the two of you, who among you broke the ice?
Ajisha: Mayuresh broke the ice first when he said that he likes me!
Mayuresh: [Laughs] Yes I did break the ice, as she was way too shy.
Do you ever have a difference of opinion, and how do you sort it out?
Ajisha: Yes, many times, we do have a difference of opinion but we sort it out sensibly. Sometimes, I listen to him and sometimes, he listens to me — plus, we have a lot of things in common, especially understanding and patience for each other. So we don’t have many problems between us as such.
Mayuresh: Yes, there are times we have arguments but as the rule book for me says, ‘If it’s your mistake, say sorry — and if it’s her mistake, still say sorry and make it up!” If the argument is really getting serious I just say, ‘Love you’ and hand over my credit card. [Laughs]
How comfortable are you with viewers getting a peek into your personal life through reality shows?
Ajisha: We are pretty comfortable with viewers getting a peek into our personal lives. The reason is that we love each other in spite of having issues, and solve them with a smile. I think this can motivate other couples who are watching us on screen.
Mayuresh: As a celebrity, I am okay with it. But paparazzi attention is something I would like to avoid. I don’t want to reveal too much of my life to people... some things are best left unsaid. When I am with my family or friends, that’s my personal space and I want to keep it as personal as it is.
What did you learn about each other during the course of Nach Baliye?
Ajisha: As we both work, we cannot give much time to each other. But due to this show, we have come so close and our bond has become so strong.
Mayuresh: Yes I agree, as we both are super busy, we hardly give time to each other. But thanks to Nach Baliye we both got the opportunity to come closer to each other. Ajisha is just the type of girl I always wanted in my life; she is perfect, that’s all I can say.
What were your thoughts when according to the lie detector machine (on the show) you weren’t a real couple?
Ajisha: I went completely numb. It felt so unreal to me as this relationship was being defined as negative in front of all the viewers, which was a lie.
Mayuresh: I don’t care and don’t believe in that machine. Our parents know about us and that’s what matters. I am not here to prove our relationship to the world. We both love each other and that’s all I care about.
Tell us something about you (or your partner) that fans wouldn’t know?
Ajisha: I don’t know how to swim as I am scared of water, and I don’t know how to drive. As far as Mayuresh is concerned, he loves his family more then he loves himself.
Mayuresh: I was scared of heights when I was a child.